Today in History: Tear Down This Wall

President Ronald Reagan speaking before the Brandenburg Gate.

President Ronald Reagan speaking before the Brandenburg Gate.


On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan delivered an address at the Brandenburg Gate. In his speech, he challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to 'tear down' the Berlin wall.

'We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!'

Thanks to WNYC Archivist Andy Lanset